Support from BIG Productivity has allowed Halo Steel to invest in new machinery
Halo Steel is a cut above with the arrival of a new machine that powers through metal at the touch of a button.
The high-tech computer-controlled plasma cutter can be programmed to create anything, from machinery parts to bespoke household and garden products.
It’s been a game-changer for Halo Steel directors Mik Weir and Anthony Fanshawe, who were able to buy the £30,000 piece of industrial equipment after applying for a grant from BIG Productivity.
Mik said the plasma cutter has allowed the already thriving Cornish business to go to the next level.
“It’s going from strength to strength at the moment,” he said. “We’ve only had it for about four months, but it’s made a huge difference.
“It’s so easy for us to draw something,” said Mik. “It’s ten minutes and place it on the machine, as long as we’ve got the steel,” he added, explaining that it can take other firms hours to reproduce the same part, “We can turn it around in a day, if necessary.”
Customers explain to Mik and the team what they need. The design is then programmed into the machine before the item is cut and produced, ready for collection.
Halo Steel’s new plasma cutting service can be used for manufacturing, automotive repair and restoration, industrial construction, agricultural machinery, garden designs and more.
The new equipment will allow Mik and Anthony to develop their architectural garden range in Corten steel (also known as weathered steel), which is a relatively new material to the UK.
Halo Steel’s fire bowls - decorative and functional fire bowls in three different shapes - are proving popular and the hope is that the metal fabrication firm will be able to design and create more of their own products.
“Having the plasma machine has made a huge difference already and I think it will make a huge difference in the future,” said Mik, who bought Halo Steel five years ago with business partner Anthony.
The company is both a fabrication firm and a steel stockholding site and Mik said applying to BIG Productivity has allowed the firm to invest in the fabrication side of the business. They’ve even been able to take on two part-time members of staff because of the success of the plasma cutting service.
“We just want to get the word out that we can produce the things that people want,” said Mik, who has just been working on producing 60 brackets for a wind farm, as well as parts for steam engines and engineering firms.
“It’s an interesting market,” he said, adding that Halo Steel has been able to keep up with demand, thanks to the BIG Productivity grant.
Would Mik recommend BIG to other businesses?
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” he said. “It will make a huge difference to your cash flow and it allows you those things that you probably didn’t think were going to come your way.”
You can watch a video case study about Halo Steel here.